Happy veterans day!

November 11, 2009

You should, even if you’re some kind of pinko liberal, totally use today as an excuse to Thank A Veteran. I think veterans find it sort of awkward to be thanked, but I also think it’s good for them to be thanked and good for us to be thankful, SO THEY WILL JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.

If you’re stuck for something to say, I think “Thank you for your service, sir and/or ma’am” (only don’t actually say “sir and/or ma’am” unless you enjoy getting punched in the face) is totally acceptable. HOWEVER, because I’m mean, I often enjoy watching Husband Guy squirm awkwardly when people thank him profusely (it’s particularly great when people get all tense and uptight and go off into these sort of strange conversational eddies where they then turn to me and say things like “And so hard for you, too, I mean, what if he dies?!?” – so far be it from me to discourage the more floral expressions of gratitude people sometimes get into.)

In other news, I am still alive! And still in the hospital. I have been moved out of the intensive care unit, which is awesome. On the second day I was back to consciousness, I sent Husband Guy an email wherein I expressed tremendous concern about WHY MY BRAIN WAS SO FUCKED UP (because my brain was totally fucked up, among other things I kept hallucinating O’Neill t-shirt designs from 1993…), and he said, well, you were on magnesium for the blood pressure, which makes you all weird, and sedatives, which make you all weird, and you almost died… which is kind of weird. AND, per his doctor sister, there’s this thing called “ICU psychosis”, where because the ICU is a 24-hour situation where people keep coming in and turning on lights and stabbing you in the veins and waking you up to check your vitals at 4am, you eventually lose all track of what the fuck is going on with anything… sort of like people at GITMO or something.

And that’s totally true! I wish for everyone reading this that you never have to spend any time in an ICU. The people who work there are saints, and it still TOTALLY BLOWS. At one point I woke up in the middle of the night to hear some dude on the ward screaming “I AM LEAVING AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!!!!” and if I had been able to talk I would have yelled “That is so totally right on, man!” – but, you know, I had the Darth Vader Valve in my throat and couldn’t produce any sound at all. So I just laid there and then slowly fell asleep again as I stared into space in terror… good times.

(Or even last night, they moved me up to the normal lady ward, but if you’re me and they’re worried about you because of the near-death crap, they check your vitals frequently to make sure you’re alive, or they might need to draw your blood or whatever… so you’ll be deeply asleep and then it’s “KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK! Midnight Phlebotomist!” and you sleepily peer over the edge of the blanket as someone you’ve never seen before rams a needle into your vein and draws multiple vials of blood. I am fairly easy-going, but this sort of thing gets real old real fast.)

BUT. Like I said, now I am out of the ICU and they changed out my Vader Valve, for this other kind of valve, so I can speak, and my jerk personality has come rushing back. Here is an illustration:

So every once in a while you get this announcement over the PA that sounds to me like “AMA in the Emergency Department”. Which I interpreted as “Against Medical Advice in the emergency Department” – so, you know, in my head this was some super-surly person (much like in the guy freaking out in the ICU) losing it in the ER and being all “YOU’ll NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE COPPAS!” and trying to storm out. And I imagined that there was some kind of “AMA rapid response team” where very reasonable people with soothing voices would go talk to this person about how they really needed to stick around and get their lungs listened to or whatever…

And when the young doctor who was swapping out my Vader Valve heard my theory, she smiled politely and said “It’s actually AMI” and Husband Guy blanched and said “Oh.” and I said “…what? WHAT?!?” and it turns out that it’s basically a call for “Hey guys, somebody’s having a heart attack in the ER”.

SO I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON, I have been rooting for an imaginary surly guy every time when it really turns out that someone might be DYING.

(I think it was disappointing to the staff here when I regained the power of speech: when I couldn’t talk and I was on weird drugs, I was silent and docile and sweet. It must have been a shock to realize that I’m really sarcastic.)


My kid got his first pair of pants today. It’s a jumpsuit with feet. The feet have small trucks on them. Because ALL INFANT CLOTHING is super-gendered. Which is fine, I don’t care. But. Trucks? Realistically, the only things this kid is interested in are milk and napping and occasionally a diaper change. THAT’S IT. He’s not into trucks, it’s not like he has any hobbies.


I am now going to totally embarrass you AND my husband, by talking about how impressed I am by him:

When I had seizures and almost died due to the ECLAMPSIA, he kept it together and got me to a hospital so I didn’t die, etc. And when I woke up again, it took me several days to figure out that, HEY WAIT A MINUTE, I ALMOST DIED, DIDN’T I?!? because Husband Guy would show up at my bedside and instead of freaking out or sobbing or whatever, he’d be stoic and mildly funny and wearing attractive sweaters. So for several days– you know, I dimly understood that things had not been great, but I didn’t understand the immediacy of the almost-dying.

Here is the thing about Husband Guy: he is the best and toughest and most moral person I have ever known. And you know what, EVEN IF our marriage crashes and burns, I am willing to stipulate that the above is true. In public. On the internet. So there.

And among various reasons I’m pleased that I didn’t die I must number prominently the fact that I get to keep hanging out with him. Also, he joins me in enjoying lame military jokes. (The hospital beds here are Stryker brand. He may be the one other person who finds that amusing. Imagine how terrible it would be for the world if I hadn’t married him, I’d go around inflicting “tactical bed” jokes on people who would respond to them like so: “…” – really, we’re all much better off like this.)

So… there you go, embarrassing you all with my fawning. I’m sorry – you watch your husband cradle your tiny child and call him “little pig”, you GET ALL GROSS, HORMONES ARE TERRIBLE.

Because of today being International Cuddle A Veteran Day, and also because… you know, I like dogs, and there aren’t any in this hospital, here you go: Mental Floss collects videos of dogs welcoming their soldier dads home from the wars. There is something kind of wrong with you if video of burly gruff dudes referring to themselves as “Daddy” and cradling outsize retrievers like they’re lapdogs doesn’t give you a mild attack of Something In Your Eye.

Or, to put it in another, more-sarcastic way:

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs


7 Responses to “Happy veterans day!”

  1. Maggie Says:

    Elana! Do not croak under any circumstances! I am so very glad you’re okay, good grief, yikes, ack!

    What can I do? I am having an atavistic attack of needing to do something useful and helpful. Need any tiny garments knitted up? I would totally make you a casserole but a) I’m in Maine and b) I don’t quite know where you are and c) casseroles are probably not quite the solution you need right now.

    But just know that the casserole of good intentions is there for you if you ever need it!

    Good job with the staying alive and baby having! Well done! Congratulations and hurray!


  2. Dean Says:

    One time I was in the hospital with a nasty infection from a plugged salivary gland. I was in a room with a fellow with a head injury from walking in front of a truck in a drunken stupor. While awake he talked, nay raved, constantly. When sleeping he continued to rave with an even greater lack of cognitive consistency. About 3:00 in the morning I awoke to his screaming once again, a breaking fever had left me in a very cold sweat, and I just needed to get the fuck out of there. I got up and with my little IV stand in tow, I shuffled off down the hall in search of peace and quiet. I found a nice empty room, climbed into bed and slept the sleep of the angels. In the morning the nurses were really pissed at me for “disappearing”.

    I am sure this really helps…

  3. Chris Kittinger Says:

    Here is a little post I did about an interesting note I found on my car windshield on Memorial Day a few years back.


  4. Cher Says:

    I spent six weeks on the cardiac floor, not ICU in 1980. They brought a woman up who had had a deeply weird response to anesthesia and she screamed and howled like a wounded animal for about 18 hours. It was harrowing to all.

    By the way, Elana was a champ through it all. It must have been terrifying to suddenly go out and wake up in an ICU room not remembering what happened.
    Kudos to you to dear.

  5. kinancopen Says:

    cried a little (tears of the happiness sort) at your little shout out to your mister. i especially liked the part about him being at your bedside in “attractive sweaters.”

  6. […] wife is basically a saint. I say this partly because she already wrote embarrassingly nice things about me and I’m pretty sure I should have been the first one to do it, seeing as how she was in the […]

  7. Birgit Broer Says:

    I blink for one second (ok, maybe a year) and you have a Husband Guy and a super cute baby boy! Sooo happy to read you’re ok, though, scary stuff. But you’re a tough cookie;-) Belated congrats on both wedding and motherhood. Always figured you’d make an awesome mommy! Rockin’ šŸ˜‰

    Big hug&kiss

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